I live in one of the Midwestern states so I get to experience four distinct seasons. Autumn is my favorite.
The weather in autumn agrees with my body. Autumn also stirs my soul. I have fond memories of school starting, playing in fallen leaves in the front yard of my childhood home, and cookouts over backyard fires. (Say, “marshmallows,” “hot dogs,” “S’mores.”)
Autumn brings a harvest of some delightful produce as well, and pumpkin tops the list for many of us.
Pumpkins grace porches this time of year–just as they’re picked or carved with a face. They provide a pantry item when we pack them up for the freezer. And in my opinion, eating pumpkin pies just make more sense during autumn.
Since I haven’t posted anything food related for awhile, here’s one of my favorite recipes using pumpkin. The cream cheese frosting makes it really special, but even without it, the bars are exceptionally moist.
¾ c. oil
1 ½ c. sugar
1 16 oz. can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, cream together eggs, oil, sugar and pumpkin. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and blend.
Spread mixture into a 13” x 9” pan and bake for 25 minutes.
While pumpkin bars are baking, make frosting.
1 3 oz. pkg. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ c. butter or margarine, softened
2 c. confectioner’s sugar
Cream together the cheese and butter. Mix in the vanilla. Add the confectioner’s sugar and blend well. When bars are cooled, spread frosting on top.
If you want to use your own fresh or frozen pumpkin from your pantry, you probably can. I suggest using a food processor or blender to “whip” it into shape. Be sure all the stringy fibers are removed for the best texture.